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Last week while trying to decide what kind of movie me and my friends will watch, I suddenly caught a glimpse of the file name: Children who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below.
Then I asked her: “Wow! You’ve watched this movie?! I love Makoto Shinkai!”
She told me: “You were the one who gave me this movie, remember?”
Then I remembered that I recommended this movie to her almost two years ago. That was the time I first acquired a copy of this movie and then my netbook got stolen.
Afterwards, I asked her a copy of the movie and watched it alone. I vividly remember watching this alone two years ago. The movie is about Asuna who deals with the loss of his new friend, Shun. She journeys to Agartha in order to “say goodbye.”
Two years ago, I found this movie lacking as compared to Makoto Shinkai’s other works like 5 cm per second, or Kotonoha no Niwa. Even Hoshi no Koe and She and Her Cat which are relatively shorter stood out better than this movie. So, with this previous bias in mind, I played the movie.
It wasn’t until this time that I fully understood the intention of the text. This movie is indeed a journey to say goodbye. The movie was well written and thought of with a lot of back story. But some of those back stories dragged the whole movie with their explanations. The pacing also had its issue. Maybe this is just my bias, but I prefer slow developing plots. I hate the constant movement and pace that disregarded some character development. It was until the part where Asuna was all alone in Agartha being chased by Izoku, the cursed tribe, that I understood the whole movie.
There was something uneasy with Asuna’s character. It was a tinge of inconsistency that I thought was a flaw. Asuna didn’t know what to do. How do you cope with the loss of someone? Do you cry? Do you fight fate? Do you give up?
Asuna was filled with these confusing feelings all the more highlighting her immaturity during the beginning. At that part, Asuna broke down and saw all the loss she had experienced. Her father died and her friend. Being alone in Agartha made her understand that her journey was not like Mr. Morisaki’s. She broke down after keeping it in and being in denial.
At that point, I cried. All the characters in this movie is in pain. Asuna lost her father and Shun. Shin lost his brother and his place in Agartha. Mr. Morisaki lost his wife. All of them were not journeying for the sake of the plot but for the sake of their losses. Which even made it all sadder.
In short, revisiting this movie made me see the beauty that was encapsulated by my comparative analysis of Makoto Shinkai’s other works. They are incomparable.
Right now, I am awed by the way Makoto Shinkai presented the “distance” he has frequently presented in his works. I really like this movie and hope other people would give it a chance.
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